WHAT PRODUCES A SUCCESSFUL PSYCHOTHERAPY OUTCOME?
By Doreathea MacArthur, Ph.D.
For those of you thinking about starting a therapeutic relationship, you may be interested in some therapeutic outcome research outlined in an article entitled The Future of Psychotherapy that appeared in the July/August Psychotherapy Networker. Researchers Rosensweig, Batchelor, and Horvath report two factors that are the most important in determining a successful outcome in psychotherapy. The first is the resources the client brings into the room. Clients with persistence, openness, optimism, with one supportive relationship in childhood, and membership in a religious community are the most likely to produce a successful outcome in therapy.
The second factor is the quality of the relationship between the client and the therapist. This factor accounts for 30% of the outcome. These two factors are more important than methods, techniques, theoretical orientation, or our favorite gurus.
Therefore, when you are looking for a therapist, pay much attention in the initial evaluation to how it feels to say more personal thoughts to the therapist before you. If the connection does not feel right, reserve the right to interview as many therapists as you need to find the right one for you. Also look at what you are willing to bring into the relationship. The more you can risk, the more satisfied you will be.
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